Jonathan Franzen from the Kraus Project

 In the middle of a long footnote about Kraus’ despisal of the moneyed writers—his Jewish brethren and others—who didn’t use their freedom from having to sell as a reason to risk take, Franzen goes off on a tangent about the socioeconomics of the present fiction scene and the internet and book reviews in modern life—it touches on too many points to cover here, but at the end he hits upon something that is relevant to the need for musicians to be on social media now and how that might not be a good thing.  As I’ve always said I’m glad Robert Plant wasn’t able to facebook on tour in 78 because it would have ruined the myth, but to Franzen’s point:

  “I might add that the tyranny of niceness in comtemporary fiction, is enforced by terror of the Internet and its ninth- grade social dynamics. Writer’s afraid of running afoul of of the bloggers and the tweeters, of becoming universally “known” as not a nice person, can defend themselves with laudable sentiments; literacy and self-expression are good, bigotry is bad, working people are the salt of the earth, love is more important than money, technology is fun, gentrification is  a serious problem, animals have feelings , children are less corrupt than adults, and so on.  To attempt a harsh critique of the electronic system that reduces writers to these bromides is to risk having it become common “knowledge” that you’re a hater, a loner, not one of us.  

      Jonathan Franzen, The Kraus Project

Franzen is an enemy of twitter and I’m going to tweet this out later so I’m not against social media but his point and the whole book  contain themes that shouldn’t be ignored in the current music climate.  Mainly, that a lot of people believe a renaissance of various musics will happen just because it’s time.  Lester Bangs pushed the needle  forward between Iggy and punk itself and without critics talking about what they want to see that they don’t see—c.f. Gina Arnold and her new 33 1/2 book—music might just continue to be the cheapest thing shard on the interwebs.  

Glenn Branca quoted in Believer Music Issue

"Even in the so-called golden age of the no wave, art rock period, the vast majority of bands were just imitating other bands.  The record companies just treated you like you were some kind of fucking king if they had decided that you were going to be the one.  Because you have to realize that out of all those great bands that came out of the punk scene, the only two that made it were the Talking Heads and Blondie.  That was it.  They were the two most commercial ones.  As much as I liked Debbie Harry, and as good as I think [Blondie] actually was, it was still super commercial. You didn’t come to New York to do commercial music.  If you want to do commercial shit, go to L.A., man. What do you come here for?  You fuck our world up."  Glenn Branca

M.O.P. Feat. Teflon - New Jack City (Produced by DJ Premier)

Throw Back Thursday: For bringing it at RSC’s 37th Anniversary at Central Park SummerStage last weekend.



This week in the echo chamber of pygmy ideological talk news subplots, Clueless star and Kanye Video vixen Stacey Dash in her new hustle on Fox News couches responded to Kanye’s rant onstage in London by suggesting that if he thought paparazzi intrusion was like rape that he should spend some time at Rikers. Check it out

Now of course as real subplots go it’s clear that every time someone mentions prison and rape as a clear moral payback strategy that our prison industrial system is an immoral business model and not a rehabilitation system because uh rape is not really a strategy for personal rehabilitation, uh obviously.

More interesting subplot is that Kanye gambited the subplot of his own mastery of the rap game as the producer of the greatest tracks on the greatest Jay Z record—The Blueprint. Jay might rank Reasonable Doubt as no. 1 but that just shows his love of his first born and his feelings of affection of the jam of his everybody slept on.

Kanye moved from Rap’s most important producer of the moment to star rapper by pushing the deep soul classicism of the Blueprint into a jittery neurotic soundscape where he could deal with middle class black neurosis: College Dropout. “Jesus Walks” is the signature track on College Dropout. But “All Falls Down” is it’s weightiest thematic nugget as “Through the Wire is its essential strife to glory tale. From “All Falls Down” to “Spaceship” in 3 tracks Kanye measured the distance from Slaveship to Spaceship and did it from ranting inside his retail and success obsessed neurotic ego-chamber.

From that $25,000 he dropped at Jacob the Jeweler before he had a house to “Niggas in Paris” on Watch the Throne, Kanye lapped S.Dash and is still climbing. For many people ranting is a dead end obstructionist mouse trap—say the Tea Party and Fox News—for Kanye it’s his notepad where he dreams up his next make money masterpiece.

This jam is still more important than the bullshit fox news controversy,  And Stacey Dash looks better in this video than on the Fox couch.  And the video is more relevant than whatever she’s talking about over there.

Brian Keizer


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Sublime, underhanded, majestic. Great track from a great album. Not getting sick of this record anytime soon. Constant loop. #St. Vincent

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A playlist for the morning after the deluge…the window after the door shut.

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The internet and social media are changing our concepts of duration, skewing them really. A playlist for the pressure, fleeting joy, and melancholy of one night only. Dylan played a Warren Zevon song every night live after he heard about the diagnosis until Warren checked out and then some. JCM’s “Jackie Brown” is one of the greatest songs about poverty written since Woody’s “Dustbowl Ballads”. The new Sly Stone compilation is worth unlimited spins.

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Is she feeling the Combat Rock vibe of the new Arcade Fire?  Also the Emotional Rescue vibe?   Heard from another room coming through the walls it sounds like 1983 a little—Emotional Rescue giving over to Undercover of the Night.  And so of course Let’s Dance.  More later.  Still listening.